During my last trip to Rome I had the pleasure of visiting Taste of Roma, a food festival that brought together some of the most famous restaurants and chefs of the Eternal City. I was excited to dive deeper into the world of Italian cuisine and indulge on all the recipes created by the biggest names in the industry.
The highlight of the event was definitely meeting Heinz Beck and scheduling an interview with the maestro. To say I was excited about meeting Italy’s best chef was an understatement. Having heard so much about the world famous chef with top restaurants around the globe, I could not wait to have an in-depth conversation about maestro’s interpretation of the Italian cuisine and the driving force behind the roaring success of the three-Michelin starred chef.
About Heinz Beck
Heinz Beck is a German-born, three-Michelin starred chef, a founder of The Order of the Knights of Italian Cuisine and an author of many books like “Pasta”, “Vegetariano”, “Finger Food” and “Best of Heinz Beck”-a personal favourite.
The Interview at La Pergola, Rome
I thought our conversation would be focused on food and food alone. After all, was not it the famous menu of La Pergola with its impeccable iconic recipes that made the guests book the table two to four months in advance? I was pleasantly surprised to discover the way Heinz Beck looks at food. To him making food is nothing less than an act of love, a way to connect with people you care for and promote wellness. Read our exclusive interview to share his journey of bringing love and wellness to our lives, one plate at a time.
What is food for you?
It is taking care of the others and sharing the pleasure of food. Most importantly it is taking care of the people you love as giving food is the first thing a mother does for her child. Therefore, making food for someone is a symbol of love.
How do you keep the same emotion of sharing love with the guests of your restaurants?
I do the best to make people sitting at the table feel welcome, appreciated and loved. This is the question I often ask “Why do you cook? Because you want to be famous and fill up your ego or because you love your work and your passion and because you want to make other people happy?
How do you modernise the traditional Italian cuisine?
I prefer to follow the impulse and create rather than spend a lot of time thinking about it. There is only one rule I follow: the new dish has to give exactly the same emotion like the old one. If the renewed dish is not better than the traditional one, then leave the traditional one.
How important is passion in what you are doing?
In every type of work passion is fundamental. With true passion you live your work in a different way and you can achieve great results. It is possible to become famous without passion but then one won’t be really happy.
What is the secret of winning Michelin stars?
The service that is given to the customers as well as the consistent quality of the product offered. It is a team effort and training the staff is an ongoing process.
Who would you become if you did not become a chef?
A painter. Painting is my passion and I enjoy painting many things, even food although I don’t really show my work to anyone.
What is the success formula of Heinz Beck?
Healthy food, positive thinking, love, creativity and passion.
What is the message you want to share with every plate you create?
The wellness, the enjoyment the taste, the health.
What is the plate that you have ever created that you are proud of the most?
The next one. The one that is not invented yet.
What is a priority when you create a plate?
The plate I create has to be balanced, nutritious and healthy and only then I look at how to plate it to make it look nice. I will never sacrifice quality of food for the presentation. I do not look for special effects.
Why not? We are happy to have gained many returning customers which is a great sign in the highly competitive market.
To sample Heinz Beck creations in Dubai, head to the Social by Heinz Beck at Waldorf Astoria and see more information on events and offers here.
Follow the maestro of Italian cuisine for more inspiration on his official Instagram page @HEINZBECKLAPERGOLA